Earlier this week we brought you the story of Paulinho’s confusion as to why exactly he was signed at FC Barcelona.

Many viewed the transfer as “one big practical joke,” to quote the man himself. Paulinho was so unsettled by the legitimacy of this move, he even demanded Barcelona produce a PowerPoint explaining why he was actually signed.

This baffled a lot of the Spanish media too, whom began to investigate as to why Barca would sign Paulinho.

As he said himself. “there’s a host of better options out there,” and he doesn’t exactly hit you as a Barca quality midfielder.

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One Spanish outlet has claimed that there’s another, more deceptive reason why Barca signed him… The paper yesterday ran a sensational story, suggesting the real reason he was signed was to aid the global expansion of Barcelona President Maria Bartomeu, Barca’s business.

The newspaper claims that Bartomeu’s other company ADELTE are looking to expand into China – and bid for business from the Evergrande group. Low and behold, that’s the same group who owns Paulinho’s former Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande.

Understandably Barca isn’t happy about the report, releasing a statement slamming the “false nature” of the story.

The statement read:

“This morning FC Barcelona have requested a retraction [from] the authors of the article.”

 “As well as the media outlet that published the story. In which the president of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is accused of having signed the player Paulinho Bezerra as part of a deal which favoured the interests of his company.”

“Given the false nature of this news story and the fact that it implies an illegal activity has taken place if a retraction is not forthcoming both the club and the president as an individual will take the corresponding legal steps.”

Paulinho’s set to be formally introduced at Camp Nou later today.